TSA responds to xkcd strip

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby sje46 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:19 am UTC

http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/10/response-to-bag-check-cartoon.html
On the surface, this cartoon resonates with many passengers who’ve had to abandon their liquids or adjust their travel to adhere to TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid policy.

This cartoon compares the allowance of laptop batteries with a bottle of water. It leads the reader to believe batteries are more dangerous than the water. While that might be true, it leaves out the reasoning behind 3-1-1. The batteries may be more dangerous than a bottle of water, but they are not more dangerous than a water bottle filled with liquid explosives.

When you show us a bottle of liquid, we can’t tell if it’s a sports drink or liquid explosives without doing a time consuming test on it. We’re developing the proper technology to allow us to expedite the screening of all liquids, but in the meantime, to screen everybody’s various types of liquids over 3.4 oz. would cause gridlock at the checkpoints.

Why is 3.4 oz. and below OK and what’s up with the baggies? To date, I think those questions were answered best in an interview with Ars Technica’s Jon Stokes. I highly suggest you read it to get the big picture of what lead to 3-1-1.

Additional information on Lithium (laptop) batteries: They’re permissible in checked and carry-on luggage when they’re in the devices they are intended for. Spare batteries are not permissible in checked baggage, but they can be transported in your carry-on luggage if they are packaged properly.

You can read more about the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules on traveling with batteries at the SafeTravel web page.

(Cartoon Courtesy of XKCD)

Thanks,

Blogger Bob


Always nice to see the authorities recognize a good comic when they see it. I wonder if they'll start to take the raptor threat more seriously?
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
Hawknc
Oompa Loompa of SCIENCE!
Posts: 6986
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:14 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Hawknc » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:49 am UTC

Ha, it has to be an ego boost when the government feels the need to respond to one of your comic strips.

Edit: you can also see Randall's response to the press release about halfway down the comments on that page.
ImageImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Vieto
Posts: 1558
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Canada

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Vieto » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:36 pm UTC

When you show us a bottle of liquid, we can’t tell if it’s a sports drink or liquid explosives without doing a time consuming test on it. We’re developing the proper technology to allow us to expedite the screening of all liquids, but in the meantime, to screen everybody’s various types of liquids over 3.4 oz. would cause gridlock at the checkpoints.



That still doesn't explain why they don't let sealed pop cans on a plane.

edit: Randal replied to TSA 26 replies down the page:

Randall Munroe said...
> The batteries may be more dangerous than a bottle of water, but they are not more dangerous than a water bottle filled with liquid explosives.

Hey! I'm the author of that cartoon, and was delighted to see your reply. Thanks!

Certainly, a bottle of water is harmless, but I was actually assuming the water bottle was also an explosive.

Laptop batteries have relatively high energy density. The two batteries I travel with (which I've never had anyone object to, contrary to your stated policy) combine to hold roughly the same energy in a 6-oz bottle of pure nitroglycerine. This energy cannot all be released quite as rapidly, but my friends have made laptop batteries explode with enough violence to, in one test, take the top off a small tree (when nestled in a fork of the trunk).

I understand that practicality plays into the decision of what to ban, and the joke of the comic was mainly how silly it would be to explain to a security guard how you could make a bomb with the expectation that it would have a good outcome. The laptop battery is a borderline case at best.

But I really do think there are some pretty serious problems with our approach to airport security, and that the rules we've come up with are more the result of a desire to do something than out of a practical assessment of what would make us safer. Articles like this one make the point better than I could: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/airport-security

I mean, when liquids are confiscated, what happens to them? Are they destroyed with explosives, tested, or just thrown away? If they're just thrown away (or set aside until days later), what's the point of confiscating them at all? The terrorist can just try to sneak some through again the next day, since there are no consequences to failing.

Yet if you don't put on the show, I suppose the airline industry might collapse. I really don't know what the solution is, but I get frustrated dealing with restrictive security procedures whose practical intentions are simply to reassure me.

October 23, 2009 5:25 PM
a.k.a. Cazador

User avatar
Levi
Posts: 1294
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:12 am UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Levi » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

Vieto wrote:
When you show us a bottle of liquid, we can’t tell if it’s a sports drink or liquid explosives without doing a time consuming test on it. We’re developing the proper technology to allow us to expedite the screening of all liquids, but in the meantime, to screen everybody’s various types of liquids over 3.4 oz. would cause gridlock at the checkpoints.



That still doesn't explain why they don't let sealed pop cans on a plane.


You could use a needle to drain the can, then refill it with explosives using a syringe or something, and plug the hole.

User avatar
Maduyn
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:37 pm UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Maduyn » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

I wonder what they would do if at the security check point you downed half the bottle of water. Would they let you take it on the plane?
I was once asked why i am a pacifist.
I simply said "Because I have finally understood what it is to die"

User avatar
Darkscull
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:46 am UTC
Location: Now where I want to be

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Darkscull » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

Maduyn wrote:I wonder what they would do if at the security check point you downed half the bottle of water. Would they let you take it on the plane?


Anyone taking an explosive onto a plane is by definition a suicide bomber, so this proves nothing unless all explosives are fatal within a very short time.
Although I suppose it's less useful inside you, and you'd still need enough left in one place to actually detonate.
Physicists do it in an excited state.
m/bi/UK/Ⓐ/chaotic good
b. 1988 d. 20xx

User avatar
Maduyn
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:37 pm UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Maduyn » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:44 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:
Maduyn wrote:I wonder what they would do if at the security check point you downed half the bottle of water. Would they let you take it on the plane?


Anyone taking an explosive onto a plane is by definition a suicide bomber, so this proves nothing unless all explosives are fatal within a very short time.
Although I suppose it's less useful inside you, and you'd still need enough left in one place to actually detonate.



It can cause respiratory difficulties and death due to respiratory paralysis by ingestion. The acute symptoms of nitroglycerin poisoning are headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, convulsions, methemoglobinemia, circulatory collapse and reduced blood pressure, excitement, vertigo, fainting, respiratory rales, and cyanosis -> source http://www.lookchem.com/NITROGLYCERIN/


The question is does in the specific case of lets say 3 oz of pure nitroglycerin is it fatal before the plane could take-off?
I was once asked why i am a pacifist.
I simply said "Because I have finally understood what it is to die"

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5653
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Diadem » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

From the comments of that article

Randall Munroe wrote:but my friends have made laptop batteries explode with enough violence to, in one test, take the top off a small tree (when nestled in a fork of the trunk).

Suddenly I worry about what kind of friends Randall hangs out with :)
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

i
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:31 pm UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby i » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:21 pm UTC

Vieto wrote:That still doesn't explain why they don't let sealed pop cans on a plane.


Hey man. Those things are dangerous. If you shook that can enough it could explode and make the cabin all sticky.


COLA ACKBAR!

User avatar
SlyReaper
inflatable
Posts: 8015
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:09 pm UTC
Location: Bristol, Old Blighty

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:36 pm UTC

i wrote:COLA ACKBAR!

It's a fizzy trap?
Image
What would Baron Harkonnen do?

User avatar
Darkscull
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:46 am UTC
Location: Now where I want to be

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Darkscull » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Maduyn wrote:
Darkscull wrote:
Maduyn wrote:I wonder what they would do if at the security check point you downed half the bottle of water. Would they let you take it on the plane?


Anyone taking an explosive onto a plane is by definition a suicide bomber, so this proves nothing unless all explosives are fatal within a very short time.
Although I suppose it's less useful inside you, and you'd still need enough left in one place to actually detonate.



It can cause respiratory difficulties and death due to respiratory paralysis by ingestion. The acute symptoms of nitroglycerin poisoning are headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, convulsions, methemoglobinemia, circulatory collapse and reduced blood pressure, excitement, vertigo, fainting, respiratory rales, and cyanosis -> source http://www.lookchem.com/NITROGLYCERIN/


The question is does in the specific case of lets say 3 oz of pure nitroglycerin is it fatal before the plane could take-off?


Nitroglycerin is not the only possibility if you want a liquid explosive to disguise, hence unless all possibilities are fatal on ingestion within a short time, then taking a few gulps proves nothing.
Physicists do it in an excited state.
m/bi/UK/Ⓐ/chaotic good
b. 1988 d. 20xx

User avatar
Hawknc
Oompa Loompa of SCIENCE!
Posts: 6986
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:14 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Hawknc » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:From the comments of that article

Randall Munroe wrote:but my friends have made laptop batteries explode with enough violence to, in one test, take the top off a small tree (when nestled in a fork of the trunk).

Suddenly I worry about what kind of friends Randall hangs out with :)

I'm sure it was all in the name of SCIENCE!.
ImageImageImageImageImage

User avatar
d33p
Happy Fun Ball
Posts: 1714
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:06 am UTC
Location: La Maison de la Liberté

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby d33p » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Lumberjacks should seriously start carrying around spare laptop batteries.
Parka wrote:I assume this is yours. I don't know anyone else who would put "kill a bear" on a list.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Malice » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

I think the real question is, are amounts of explosives under 3 oz. (the amount they say is safe and let you carry on) still safe if paired with an exploding laptop battery?
Image

Walter.Horvath
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:33 pm UTC
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
i wrote:COLA ACKBAR!

It's a fizzy tarp?

Fix'd

icanus
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
Location: in England now abed

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby icanus » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:From the comments of that article

Randall Munroe wrote:but my friends have made laptop batteries explode with enough violence to, in one test, take the top off a small tree (when nestled in a fork of the trunk).

Suddenly I worry about what kind of friends Randall hangs out with :)

Awesome ones, evidently.

d271828b
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby d271828b » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:10 pm UTC

Maduyn wrote:I wonder what they would do if at the security check point you downed half the bottle of water. Would they let you take it on the plane?


Half the bottle of water probably wouldn't be good enough, but you can drink the entire bottle, take the empty bottle through, and then fill it at a water fountain. (Or if you think ahead, bring an empty bottle to start with to save yourself the effort of chugging a full bottle of water while people wait impatiently behind you.)

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30448
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Belial » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:12 pm UTC

Levi wrote:You could use a needle to drain the can, then refill it with explosives using a syringe or something, and plug the hole.


You could do the same with, for example, a baby. More space, too
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Outchanter
Posts: 668
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: South African in Americaland

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Outchanter » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
When you show us a bottle of liquid, we can’t tell if it’s a sports drink or liquid explosives without doing a time consuming test on it. We’re developing the proper technology to allow us to expedite the screening of all liquids, but in the meantime, to screen everybody’s various types of liquids over 3.4 oz. would cause gridlock at the checkpoints.

1. Open bottle and pour away contents.
2. Refill with water from a TSA vetted faucet.
3. ???
4. Profit!

d271828b wrote:Half the bottle of water probably wouldn't be good enough, but you can drink the entire bottle, take the empty bottle through, and then fill it at a water fountain. (Or if you think ahead, bring an empty bottle to start with to save yourself the effort of chugging a full bottle of water while people wait impatiently behind you.)

I've done that. Sometimes they confiscate the empty bottle :roll:
~ You will eat a tasty fortune cookie. Oh look, it came true already! ~

User avatar
Aikanaro
Posts: 1801
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:43 pm UTC
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Aikanaro » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

You know, this is all to say nothing of if someone decided to swallow zip-lock bags full of liquid explosives, then vomit them back up either into an airsick bag, or in the restroom on the plane.....tricky to do, i know, but i'm sure it could still be done if someone was determined.

EDIT: I may have mentioned this before, I forget, but I've also always wondered about whether, with whatever resources they have available, they could make guns out of nonmetallic components. Granted they couldn't make many, but you wouldn't need many to hijack a plane.....
Last edited by Aikanaro on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Dear xkcd,

On behalf of my religion, I'm sorry so many of us do dumb shit. Please forgive us.

Love, Aikanaro.

User avatar
SlyReaper
inflatable
Posts: 8015
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:09 pm UTC
Location: Bristol, Old Blighty

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:41 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:i'm sure it could still be done if someone was determined.


And this is really the key point. No amount of airport security is going to make you safer, because the terrorists know the procedures and will find a way around them. The only way to make a flight completely safe is to not let anyone on board.
Image
What would Baron Harkonnen do?

User avatar
Darkscull
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:46 am UTC
Location: Now where I want to be

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Darkscull » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:32 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:EDIT: I may have mentioned this before, I forget, but I've also always wondered about whether, with whatever resources they have available, they could make guns out of nonmetallic components. Granted they couldn't make many, but you wouldn't need many to hijack a plane.....


Have you not seen Xmen? You can make everything out of plastic :P
Physicists do it in an excited state.
m/bi/UK/Ⓐ/chaotic good
b. 1988 d. 20xx

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:You know, this is all to say nothing of if someone decided to swallow zip-lock bags full of liquid explosives, then vomit them back up either into an airsick bag, or in the restroom on the plane.....tricky to do, i know, but i'm sure it could still be done if someone was determined.

EDIT: I may have mentioned this before, I forget, but I've also always wondered about whether, with whatever resources they have available, they could make guns out of nonmetallic components. Granted they couldn't make many, but you wouldn't need many to hijack a plane.....


Not to mention a ceramic knife
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
cephalopod9
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:23 am UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby cephalopod9 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:03 pm UTC

The batteries may be more dangerous than a bottle of water, but they are not more dangerous than a water bottle filled with liquid explosives.
I, for one, would like to see this logic applied to more realms of life.
Clearly a car is more dangerous than a burrito, but is it more dangerous than a burrito filled with liquid explosives?
Image

User avatar
Outchanter
Posts: 668
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: South African in Americaland

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Outchanter » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
The batteries may be more dangerous than a bottle of water, but they are not more dangerous than a water bottle filled with liquid explosives.
I, for one, would like to see this logic applied to more realms of life.
Clearly a car is more dangerous than a burrito, but is it more dangerous than a burrito filled with liquid explosives?

Clearly a a burrito filled with liquid explosives is more dangerous than a car, but is it more dangerous than a car filled with liquid explosives?

...wait, aren't cars usually filled with liquid explosives? (Or their gas tanks are?)
~ You will eat a tasty fortune cookie. Oh look, it came true already! ~

User avatar
Vieto
Posts: 1558
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Canada

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Vieto » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

Back on the points of drinking from the bottle...

Alchohol is explosive. It is also served on planes. You have everything you need on a plane to make molotov cocktails.
a.k.a. Cazador

User avatar
Zeroignite
Commencing Countdown, Engines On
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:28 pm UTC
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Zeroignite » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:28 am UTC

Unless you bring a distillery with you, there is no way you are gonna get the 40% alcohol they serve to be explosive.
She/her/hers
Avatar sketched by Hazel / drawn by Amii
Image

User avatar
Isaac Hill
Systems Analyst????
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:35 pm UTC
Location: Middletown, RI

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Isaac Hill » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:16 am UTC

Some anonymous person on the TSA forums wrote:Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

This was the part that stood out to me. Somone with more guts than me could attempt to carry white powder through security claiming it was athlete's foot mediation. It would be confiscated and thrown into the trash without security realizing it was really baking soda. Someone with even more guts, and enough cologne to mask the smell, could follow with an open water bottle. It would also be thrown in the trash, without anyone realizing it was vinegar. Someone who paid attention in chemistry class beyond junior high could probably come up with a more potent combo with less smelly ingredients.
Alleged "poems"
that don't follow a rhyme scheme
are not poetry

Walter.Horvath
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:33 pm UTC
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:21 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:
Some anonymous person on the TSA forums wrote:Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

This was the part that stood out to me. Somone with more guts than me could attempt to carry white powder through security claiming it was athlete's foot mediation. It would be confiscated and thrown into the trash without security realizing it was really baking soda. Someone with even more guts, and enough cologne to mask the smell, could follow with an open water bottle. It would also be thrown in the trash, without anyone realizing it was vinegar. Someone who paid attention in chemistry class beyond junior high could probably come up with a more potent combo with less smelly ingredients.

Ooh, the trash can is bubbling!

Wait, so what? Even if you could do something more potent, it would still only affect a small radius of the trash can in the airport, not an airplane in flight.

User avatar
Kizyr
Posts: 2070
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:16 am UTC
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Kizyr » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:Wait, so what? Even if you could do something more potent, it would still only affect a small radius of the trash can in the airport, not an airplane in flight.

It would also affect security and every outgoing flight, as the airport is shut down for the next three hours for the pending investigation. KF
~Kaiser
Image

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby sje46 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:30 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:
Some anonymous person on the TSA forums wrote:Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

This was the part that stood out to me. Somone with more guts than me could attempt to carry white powder through security claiming it was athlete's foot mediation. It would be confiscated and thrown into the trash without security realizing it was really baking soda. Someone with even more guts, and enough cologne to mask the smell, could follow with an open water bottle. It would also be thrown in the trash, without anyone realizing it was vinegar. Someone who paid attention in chemistry class beyond junior high could probably come up with a more potent combo with less smelly ingredients.

Ooh, the trash can is bubbling!

Wait, so what? Even if you could do something more potent, it would still only affect a small radius of the trash can in the airport, not an airplane in flight.

Well, he was using baking soda and vinegar as a stand in for more dangerous chemicals when mixed together, something that could blow up a good section of the building. And airports, while not contained like airplanes, are pretty packed places.

But relying on two substances meeting each other in the same trash bin is unrealistic. A better idea is to bring a real bomb to the airport in your suitcase and blow it up. Or a better, more crowded target without more routes of escape, like a tall building.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
Josephine
Posts: 2142
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 am UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Josephine » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:00 am UTC

Yeah, I mean, if you want to take out a lot of people with a little explosive, don't take out a plane. Take out a building (not with a plane, you idiots!) by weakening the foundations.
Belial wrote:Listen, what I'm saying is that he committed a felony with a zoo animal.

Walter.Horvath
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:33 pm UTC
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:02 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:Yeah, I mean, if you want to take out a lot of people with a little explosive, don't take out a plane. Take out a building (not with a plane, you idiots!) by weakening the foundations.

Actually it would be more efficient and cheaper to use planes, they just have to be aimed as close to the ground as possible. Which is impossible in almost any space with extremely tall buildings, except maybe the recent Asian record-breakers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm waiting for the FBI to show up aaaaaaany minute now...

User avatar
Josephine
Posts: 2142
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 am UTC

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Josephine » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:05 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:
nbonaparte wrote:Yeah, I mean, if you want to take out a lot of people with a little explosive, don't take out a plane. Take out a building (not with a plane, you idiots!) by weakening the foundations.

Actually it would be more efficient and cheaper to use planes, they just have to be aimed as close to the ground as possible. Which is impossible in almost any space with extremely tall buildings, except maybe the recent Asian record-breakers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm waiting for the FBI to show up aaaaaaany minute now...


Dubai works. 300+ M skyscrapers right on the ocean.

I think I hear a knock at the door.
Belial wrote:Listen, what I'm saying is that he committed a felony with a zoo animal.

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby sje46 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:19 am UTC

Am I reading this incorrectly, or are you talking about how hitting a building with a plane won't destroy it? Because I think that's been pretty empirically proven wrong.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
Isaac Hill
Systems Analyst????
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:35 pm UTC
Location: Middletown, RI

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Isaac Hill » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:24 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:Ooh, the trash can is bubbling!

Wait, so what? Even if you could do something more potent, it would still only affect a small radius of the trash can in the airport, not an airplane in flight.


I should have said something like obnoxious, not potent. I was thinking about a stunt to point out that security confiscates materials as hazmat, but does not dispose of them as hazmat, like the commenter on the TSA board was talking about. I wasn't thinking about destruction, just an attention grabber. Me not good word guy.
Alleged "poems"
that don't follow a rhyme scheme
are not poetry

Walter.Horvath
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:33 pm UTC
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:26 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:I should have said something like obnoxious, not potent. I was thinking about a stunt to point out that security confiscates materials as hazmat, but does not dispose of them as hazmat, like the commenter on the TSA board was talking about. I wasn't thinking about destruction, just an attention grabber. Me not good word guy.

Ooooooooh.

You'd probably still be detained (at the very least) for suspicious alchemy, or something.

They'd have no trouble arresting you, too.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby Malice » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:28 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Am I reading this incorrectly, or are you talking about how hitting a building with a plane won't destroy it? Because I think that's been pretty empirically proven wrong.


I think Napoleon's point was, it's a lot easier to take out a building using conventional explosives than flying a plane into it.

Flying a plane was a really effective stunt, though, in terms of terrorisms.
Image

The Reaper
Posts: 4008
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby The Reaper » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:29 am UTC

Malice wrote:
sje46 wrote:Am I reading this incorrectly, or are you talking about how hitting a building with a plane won't destroy it? Because I think that's been pretty empirically proven wrong.


I think Napoleon's point was, it's a lot easier to take out a building using conventional explosives than flying a plane into it.

Flying a plane was a really effective stunt, though, in terms of terrorisms.

So is lighting off a dirty bomb, and its alot easier than airplanes as well, because it can fit into the back of a car, uhaul, or tractor-trailer

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26052
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: TSA responds to xkcd strip

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:43 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Am I reading this incorrectly, or are you talking about how hitting a building with a plane won't destroy it? Because I think that's been pretty empirically proven wrong.

I don't think you can say it's been proven wrong, really. A plane *can* destroy a building by hitting it, but that doesn't mean it *will*. After all, there have been other (smaller) planes that ran into buildings without any serious consequences for the building.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CorruptUser, Pfhorrest and 16 guests